PIAA XC Championships Preview: Class A Girls

Class A Girls Team Preview - PIAA State Championships

Similar to the individual race, the team race is likely going to be a close one on Saturday morning. Which teams have a shot at the title?

We'll start with the last Class A team to win at Hershey, Our Lady of Sacred Heart. OLSH captured the win in the White (1A) race at the PIAA Foundation Invitational in what turned into a bit of a runaway. The team put up 117 points, 33 points ahead of the second and third place teams (which we'll get to shortly). OLSH then won the WPIAL title last week with another impressive effort at Cal U. If there was a favorite, it would probably be OLSH, which has some solid depth that may propel them to a state crown.

District 6 champions Marion Center Area is no stranger to Hershey. While MCA missed out on states in the condensed 2020, it was second in 2019 and won the whole thing in 2018. Marion Center was second to OLSH at Foundation. This is a team that knows how to race the Hershey hills, and should certainly pose a major threat to the top spot on Saturday.

Second to OLSH in District 7 (WPIAL) was Mohawk. After taking second place  last year to Penns Valley at the state meet, Mohawk is back and strong once again with a 1-5 gap that was just 59 seconds at WPIALs. This is still a young team, but with the experience from last year, this is a team that will still make some noise this season. Winchester Thurston, third place finishers in the WPIAL, was third (on a tiebreaker to Marion Center) at Foundation, and is a team with a good mix of experience and youth that should also be in the mix here.

A team that has emerged as a state title threat in a big way over the past week is Notre Dame Green Pond. NDGP saw a huge race from virtually its whole team at the District 11 Championships this past week, where it scored just 19 points to easily take the team title. Led by the district champ Schweitzer, NDGP put down some big PRs across the board on a challenging DeSales course. A week-plus later, this is looking like a team that could challenge for the top spot here on the back of a lot of momentum.

Montrose was fifth a year ago, and has looked very strong this season, running away with the District 2 crown once again this past week. Its top three isn't separated by much, so look for those girls to battle in out for high places, and Montrose is a team that has some really good potential to go after another top five finish or better on Saturday.

Lakeview is a team that doesn't necessarily have a lowstick, but should still compete for a high finish in Hershey. The District 10 champions put some space between the rest of the teams in Titusville this past weekend, braving some muddy conditions. In District 9, Cranberry beat out Elk County Catholic on a tiebreaker for the team title. Both team qualified for the state meet and both are worth watching for in this field.

District 3 champions Annville-Cleona have a couple of lowsticks, and that should bode well for this team heading into Saturday morning. District 6 runners-up Saint Joseph's Catholic Academy -- state champions in 2019 -- is a team you can't sleep on in Class A. Elk Lake, Seneca, and York Catholic are among the other teams to watch for in this race.